short postdocs - truth or dare

Frank van de Loo frankv at
Thu Aug 29 17:46:09 EST 1996

In article <199608281851.LAA32140 at>,
   megan at (Megan) wrote:
>Hi all,
>I would like to ask a question on behalf of a friend of mine.  She is going
>to finish her PhD soon and is looking for Postdocs.  Her husband is now in
>another city, working on an MBA, which he will finish next June.  She is
>going to interview for a postdoc in the same city in which he now lives, and
>wants to go with him when he leaves, or ASAP after he leaves, but she does
>not yet know where that will be (he will know by December where he has a job
>lined up for after June).  She is wondering if it is wise to tell the PI
>with whom she is interviewing that it will likely be a relatively short
>postdoc (she guesses about a year) when she interviews, when she starts, or
>when she is looking for the next one. Basically she doesnt want her new boss
>to be disappointed or upset if she leaves in a year, but also doesnt want to
>hurt her chances of getting the position.  Any suggestions??

The obvious suggestion to me is that her husband might plan on staying put for 
a while after he graduates so that she can get time for a longer postdoc.  Not 
only is a one-year postdoc probably a problem for a prospective boss, but it 
will be hard for her to start a new project, get results, and get a job 
seminar, so in effect she might be spinning her wheels.  The ideal solution 
(if the husband is inflexible) would be to pick up expertise in a lab that 
does quite different work and where she wouldn't normally consider going for a 
 longer period.  Of course this leaves the problem of what the prospective 
boss would get out of it - hopefully your friend would contribute expertise 
new to the lab, so it goes both ways.

Just my 2 electrons.

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